Global Travel and Lifestyle News Network

ROUND-UP: Aug. 14-18, 2023

The fight over passengers compensation continued last week, while in other weekly news, TICO issued an invitation for new directors; grim hurricane news hit the headlines; Transat introduced Peru; and TravelBrands’ committed a good deed.

NEWS

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal from several airlines, including Air Canada and Porter, as well as IATA, looking to quash rules that boost compensation to passengers for delayed flights or damaged luggage. The carriers, argue that Canada’s four-year-old passenger rights charter violates global standards and should be rendered invalid for international flights.

With a controversial new board model set to take effect, TICO is accepting applications for two new travel industry director positions on its board. Deadline is today (Aug. 21). The information can be found HERE. https://tico.ca/about-tico/governance/board-of-directors.html. Those interested are also asked that a resume be emailed to TICO (boardapplications@tico.ca).

Record hot ocean temperatures and a tardy El Nino are doubling the chances of a nasty Atlantic hurricane season this summer and fall. With the Atlantic hurricane season already well above normal so far, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased how many storms to expect and how busy the season can get. The agency says there’s a 60% chance for an above normal hurricane season, twice the agency’s May forecast which said it was 30%.

BY THE NUMBERS

VISIT FLORIDA announced the strongest international visitation numbers that Florida has seen since 2019. And that includes nearly 846,000 Canadians to date in 2023 – a whopping 81.1% ahead of the same period in 2022. Florida continues to beat records with annual visitation with 70.8 million visitors in 2023 – 4.5% above 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

AIR

The addition of twice-weekly non-stop service between Kelowna and Toronto has been added to WestJet for its 2023/24 winter schedule. The service will begin Nov. 5. Eastbound flights will operate Mondays and Fridays with departures at 10 a.m. (arriving 5:13 p.m.). From Toronto, service will be Sundays and Thursdays departing at 7:30 p.m. (arriving 9.24 p.m.)

Air Transat will offer exclusive direct flights to Lima, Peru, from both Montreal and Toronto this winter. Toronto-Lima flights will be operated twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from Dec. 20 to April 24; in addition, Montreal-Lima flights will be operated once weekly, on Fridays, from Dec. 22 to April 26.

The government of Mexico says it plans to revive the Mexicana name for its new airline, which will be run by the country’s military starting in September. The airline is looking at 20 potential routes between Mexico City and large and mid-size Mexican cities, some of which have limited service at present, as well as tourist resorts like Cancun. Tickets are expected to be 18 to 20% below private competitors. The airline has been named Mexicana after the partly state-owned carrier that went into bankruptcy in 2010 and closed.

DEALS

Viva Wyndham All-Inclusive Resorts by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is offering up to 45% off for trips booked before Sept. 30.

HOTELS

A hotel, AZUR Legacy Collection Hotel (photo), is set to open its doors in Vancouver later this month. The luxury hotel has stunning Art Deco-inspired style with its design and ambiance providing a warm and elegant space with a personal touch evident in all aspects of the hotel, from the imported stone-clad exterior and the grand marble lobby entrance to hand-picked art pieces from renowned local and international artists – all combining to create a wonderful sense of understated luxury.
RESORTS

Travel agents can start booking their clients’ 2024 getaways at two new Princess Hotels luxury all-inclusive beachfront resorts in Jamaica with Sunwing Vacations.

Opening in April, the family-friendly Princess Grand Jamaica, available exclusively to Sunwing, and the adults-only Princess Senses the Mangrove, will also earn agents STAR Rewards Points on bookings that can be converted to cash.

Club Med has unveiled new renovations and extensions to its flagship Village, Club Med Punta Cana. L’Hispaniola, the main beachfront restaurant, has been completely transformed, showcasing Punta Cana’s colourful culture, while the resort’ s 90 family rooms, 48 Superior rooms and 36 Deluxe rooms have been renovated and specially designed for families. The Village will also now boast a new space dedicated to weddings and a beauty salon in collaboration with renowned L’Occitane products.

TOURS

Air Canada Vacations is implementing a new commission policy designed to offer agents enhanced financial protection and stability. Travel agents are now be entitled to receive standard commission on any cancelled individual bookings made 45 days or more prior to departure (Cancelled with Deposit), with the exception of cruise and group bookings. The tour operator will also protect full commission on any schedule change that provides no option of reprotection and results in a cancelled booking.

Railbookers is registering a spike in demand for travel in the latter half of 2023, with more than half of all bookings in the last six weeks departing before the end of December, reports the rail specialist tour operator. According to data beginning July 1, nearly 54% of Railbookers’ bookings were for trips with departure dates in 2023. Among its Canadian customers, Railbookers is seeing top destinations booked including Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

CRUISE

Proclaiming it the line’s “most engaging family activity zone ever,” Princess Cruises’ ‘Sun Princess’ will debut Park19 (photo rendering) when it sets sail next February, in addition to new youth and teen centres. Located on the top decks of Sun Princess, Park19 will feature nine activities for the entire family, ranging from the first “rollglider” on cruise ship to a climbing structure, tilting wall lookout, splash zone, jogging track and more.

Norwegian Cruise Line has welcomed the first guests to sail aboard its new Norwegian Viva, the company’s highly anticipated new ship and second of the Prima Class, as it embarked on its maiden voyage from Venice (Trieste), Italy.

The ship will sail a selection of Greek Isles and Mediterranean voyages through November, before homeporting in San Juan, Puerto Rico in December for a season in the Caribbean.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

A new restaurant in Disneyland Park, Tiana’s Palace will open on Sept. 7. Inspired by the restaurant Tiana created in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Princess and the Frog,” the reimagined quick-service style location will include subtle references to Tiana’s story and her rich past in New Orleans with a menu that features new items honouring the flavours and flair of the city, with an effort to source some ingredients directly from the state of Louisiana when possible.

EVENTS

Air Canada Vacations’ has announced dates for its annual Dream Makers product launches this fall, with events set to take place in five Canadian cities, starting Sept. 6 at the Cedar Event Centre in Halifax. The shows will highlight the tour company’s just-released ACV’s 2023/24 “Dream of Sun” digital brochure. Travel agents are invited to attend the trade show galas, which will also take place in Vancouver on Sept. 12 (Marriott); Edmonton, Sept. 14 (Marriott); Montreal, Sept. 19 (Congress Montreal), and Toronto, Sept. 21 (Universal Events). All events will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and feature an evening of cocktails, prizes, and live entertainment, as well as a presentation from ACV about the just-released 2023/24 collection.

APPOINTMENTS/GOOD DEEDS

Globus family of brands had announced a new leadership position for company’s Canadian team, with industry veteran Denise Harper joining the brands as senior director of sales. Most recently director of partner relations for Virtuoso Travel, Harper joins the Canadian leadership team of Carla Brake; Ainsley Ericksen and Swagat Pandya with a mandate to reinforce sales and trade relationships across the country.

TravelBrands renewed its commitment to the SickKids Foundation and its mission by bringing back its annual SickKids Day. Building on the successful partnership established in 2016, TravelBrands pledged to donate 1% of all sales made on Aug 16, to the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto.

DESTINATIONS

Michelin Guide inspectors recently announced 12 additions to the Michelin Guide Toronto. The establishments are highlighted as “New” on guide.michelin.com to help food lovers make new discoveries before the full selection is revealed Sept. 27.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1914, the first ship passed through the Panama Canal.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

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